Farm clustering and consolidation, which will be known as “Bayanihan Agri Clusters” (BAC), involves the integration of government interventions—such as provision of loans, farm mechanization, free seeds and fertilizers, and market support—to organized farmer/fisher groups. It aims to empower stakeholders to reduce production costs, gain more benefits from the agriculture value chain, and direct interventions to achieve economies of scale.
Collective action involves organizing farmers/fishers into cooperatives or business entities to become viable blocks or units of production enjoying higher efficiencies in operations and improved profits.
Linkages between organized farmers/fishers and major players in the food industry must be established to gain a steady market for their produce. The “big brother-small brother” arrangement between major agribusiness firms and organized agriculture smallholders will also facilitate transfer of technologies.
To strengthen the collaboration between DA, local government units, academe, and private sector, the Provincial Agricultural and Fisheries Extension Systems (PAFES) will be institutionalized to bring extension services to the grassroots level amid the challenges of devolution.
With PAFES, the province serves as an extension hub that synchronizes agricultural plans and programs as well as orchestrate the activities of the various stakeholders. DA will co-plan, co-invest, co-implement, and co-monitor priority projects in the provinces, particularly as they embark on commodity specializations to maximize comparative advantage.
The DA will pursue a policy of active participation and partnership with the private sector in establishing more agri-based industries in the countryside and developing markets for agriculture products.
In particular, the DA will continuously court partnerships with local government units and individual provinces.
Farmers, particularly those involved in the production of rice, corn, and coconut, will be encouraged and supported to diversify into other commodities such as vegetables and other high-value seasonal crops to boost their incomes.
DA’s agricultural credit policy framework will now focus on promoting active participation of the banking sector and government financial institutions in the rural financial system.
Digital technology and innovations, such as e-Kadiwa and the use of data analytics, will be leveraged throughout the food value chain and logistics, starting with the efficient distribution of inputs to farmers enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). The automated system will improve farm productivity and cut waste by using analytics to facilitate data-driven farming practices for small farmers.
Crop production will be monitored using digital databases to strengthen the digitization of farming and agribusiness activities in the country and pave the way for “Agriculture 4.0”.
Vital rural infrastructure such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, postharvest facilities, storage, tolling, processing, and marketing facilities, in partnership with the private sector and concerned agencies and LGUs will be aligned and planned out according to their impact on supply, markets, and climate change.
The private sector and LGUs will also be engaged in the creation of food hubs and establishment of efficient transport and logistics systems.
The DA will aggressively pursue and institutionalize regional and provincial climate risk and vulnerability assessments to inform proactive measures during typhoon season and other natural disasters.
Regional Field Offices (RFOs) will be deployed and strengthened for early warning advisories and disaster risk management activities.
The DA will focus funding and activities in mitigating the effects of plant and animal diseases by improving laboratory and research facilities, building up traceability systems, and unifying sanitary and phytosanitary control measures against plant and animal epidemics.
The DA will pursue the establishment of Agri Industrial Business Corridors (ABCs) with Fisheries Management Areas and trading posts to provide smallholder farmers and fisherfolk access to resources, including state-of-the-art production technology, hatcheries and nurseries, capital, and value-adding facilities.
To strengthen the competitiveness of provinces and regions in the production of specific crops, the value chain will be the center of program and project rollouts. From mechanizing farm practices, developing processing facilities, and incubating export-oriented businesses in agri-industrial business corridors, smallholders will be given the chance to hold up their end of the value chain as suppliers of raw material to be processed into export products.
The DA will rally provinces and regions into championing their own high-value crops with vast export potential. More than ever, the DA will safeguard existing international cooperation to open up avenues for global trade expansion.
DA will harmonize local production schedules and supply chain activities in its supervision of supply, importation, and price stability of key agricultural goods.
Kadiwa and e-Kadiwa will level up through increased partnerships with LGUs and intensified procurement and marketing of farmers’ produce.
An improved national agriculture logistics system will be developed to speed up and reduce transport and distribution costs from production to consumption areas, including export destinations.
As Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and agricultural state colleges and universities (SUCs) are challenged to produce the next generation of farmers and agripreneurs, the DA will actively form partnerships and linkages for internships and promote agriculture as a viable formative and professional track, especially in rural areas.
The DA will play an advisory role in strengthening curricula in the agricultural sciences and integrating these in the dynamism of university systems and the project of nation-building. It will enhance the capacity of the sector to absorb agriculture and agribusiness graduates through a merit and incentive system. It will stabilize its own manpower capacity to attract the brightest and most talented agriculture graduates through competitive compensation packages and upward career mobility.
Education and trainings will be conducted with focus on helping farmers learn and improve their knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and farm business management.
Coupled with agri-industrialization, agripreneurship will serve as core strategy to modernize the country’s agriculture sector, create employment and income opportunities and uplift millions of smallholder farmers.
A system for certifying agribusiness managers will be instituted to formalize leadership roles in various farmers’ organizations.
Information dissemination on long-term agricultural programs, practices, and learning platforms will target the engagement of youth and women.
As the active population of farmers and fishers enter senior citizenship, the DA will aid in the transition of the largest and most competitive agri-enterprises into the management of a younger crop of leaders, scientists, and researchers.
The DA will continue to pursue “internal cleansing,” and strengthen and synchronize efforts to institute a more transparent, technology-driven procurement system.
DA will also aid agripreneurs, especially medium and small Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), in reducing the cost and effort of complying with the regulatory burdens of doing business.
The DA will pursue comprehensive and proactive communications strategies for the agri-fishery sector and to strengthen awareness among stakeholders, partners, and the public. This will involve the integration of the Department’s key information, education and communications responsibilities employing both traditional offline as well as modern online channels.